Real estate agents from across Crye-Leike's Chattanooga region last week gathered at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club to celebrate their success in 2011 and discuss predictions for 2012. In the crystal ball segment of the program, Crye-Leike co-founder and CEO Harold Crye offered his forecast for this year.

 

"The market is slowly stabilizing, and we expect sales to increase modestly as the economy gradually continues to recover," said Crye. "We expect to see more renters become buyers as rents continue to rise and mortgage rates remain at a historic low for now. We do anticipate mortgage rates will also soon be on the rise."

 

Crye-Leike's overall sales were good in 2011, with the company slightly missing its goal of $4 billion in sales. Agents companywide helped Crye-Leike reach a final figure of $3.8 billion in sales for 2011, with a total of 24,470 units closed.

 

"We think the market is turning the corner and real estate sales will be on the upswing in 2012," said Crye. "For the past three years, we've been holding steady along the 3 billion in sales mark, and expect to rise to $4 billion in sales for 2012. We feel like we've hit the bottom of the housing market, as we saw a surge in sales and were up in the fourth quarter last year."

 

At this year's kick-off meeting, Chattanooga agents helped Crye-Leike celebrate 35 years of helping buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. Hundreds of agents attended the meeting and were awarded and applauded for their service and sales achievements in 2011.

 

"We thank all of our agents for the terrific job they do of caring for our customers, of helping us build a great company reputation, and for sticking with us through these tough times," said Crye. "We wish our agents a successful 2012 as we encourage everyone to keep believing in their dreams of homeownership."

 

Crye-Leike Chattanooga market sales in 2011 totaled $327 million from 1,746 homes sold. Crye is expecting sales in the Chattanooga market to increase by 5 percent in 2012. Locally, Crye-Leike is home to 259 agents and eight offices.